04/06/2013 1:16PM

Will Rogers: Okie Ride will keep Quinonez for TRAO Classic


Jockey Luis Quinonez will travel to Will Rogers Downs near Tulsa on Tuesday to team with Okie Ride in the $55,000 TRAO Classic Sprint. The six-furlong race is restricted to Oklahoma-breds, and the nine-horse field of 3-year-olds and up includes the race’s defending champ, Stickcrossmountain, and a five-time stakes winner, Steal Your Face.

Quinonez is based at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., where he ranks fourth in the current standings. He has been the regular rider aboard Okie Ride for the Richter Family Trust and trainer Kenneth Nolen since last August, when the horse finished second in the $103,000 David M. Vance Sprint at Remington.

Okie Ride and Quinonez then won their next three starts together, all at Remington: an allowance over eventual stakes winner Apprehender in September, the $111,000 Oklahoma Classics Sprint in October, and the $50,000 Silver Goblin in November.

The TRAO Classic will be Okie Ride’s first start since Dec. 8, when he finished fifth in an allowance sprint. That race has since produced three next-out winners, with two of them winning stakes. Apprehender, the allowance winner, came back in his next start to take the $50,000 King Cotton at Oaklawn with a Beyer Speed Figure of 98, and Gold Element, second in the allowance, then captured the $50,000 Spirit of Texas at Sam Houston, with a Beyer Figure 95.

For his return, Okie Ride shows a series of forward works at Will Rogers. He will break from post 6 and with his tactical speed could get a stalking trip behind Stickcrossmountain and Agent.

Stickcrossmountain enters Tuesday’s stakes off a third-place finish to Agent in an Oklahoma-bred allowance March 25 at Will Rogers. Stickcrossmountain set the pace to the late stages in what was his first out since November. Cody Worst has the mount for H and H Ranch and trainer Veronica Griggs.

Steal Your Face is returning to the stakes ranks for the first time since November, when he was fourth in the Silver Goblin won by Okie Ride. He will be making his second start of the year in the TRAO Classic following a fifth-place finish in a $30,000 claiming race at Oaklawn on March 17.

The field also includes two-time stakes winner Ransom Roberto, who is cutting back to one turn off a third-place finish in a $35,000 optional claimer at Will Rogers on March 11.